• Duration:12 Nights 13 Days
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Max. Altitude: 5416m
  • Group Size: 1-12
  • Activity: Hiking and Trekking
  • Pick Up: TIA Airport

About Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking saves 3 Days by flying from Jomsom back to Pokhara while still offering the main highlights of the original Annapurna Circuit Trekking. The 15 Days Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking includes the amazing altitude range from 900m to 5416m, climatic zones with distinct vegetation, wildlife, ethnicity and culture as well as the ever-changing panoramas of magnificent mountains. This shorter version of the Annapurna Circuit Trek has the advantage of avoiding a section below Jomsom which is no longer pleasant trekking because a road has been constructed. It misses the amazing Ghorepani / Poon Hill, but for those with time constraints, it is the way to go!

The starting point of the trek is Besisahar, from where we head northward up the Marshyangdi Valley, through lush green foothills and terraced rice fields. As we climb higher we leave the beautiful alpine forests behind us, and enter a dry desert region and remote Tibetan Buddhist villages to the north of the Annapurna massif. The highlight of this trek is crossing the famous Thorung La pass, 5416m. The descent to Muktinath follows the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki Valley. After exploring the famous pilgrimage site of Muktinath there is a short trek to Jomsom, from where we fly back to Pokhara.

The Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking is an exciting trek with dramatic mountain scenery. Along the trail, we will get superb views of the Annapurna range; Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Lamjung, Himalchuli, and Manaslu. Every day of the journey you will see the mountains from a different vantage point and different mountains come and go from your view.

The best time to do Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking is from March- May and September - December. Get in touch to know more about the trip, itinerary, time, private or group departures.

Highlights of Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking

  • greatest range of altitude and scenery of any trek of its category
  • stunning view from Thorong La Pass - at 5416m
  • explore Muktinath; a famous pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists
  • observe distinct cultural shift in highlands close to Tibet
  • scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara

Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu, 1,300 m/4,265 ft

Flying to Kathmandu is in itself an exciting and memorable experience. On a clear day, you will get a panoramic view of the snow-capped towering peaks. After completing the visa formalities in airport, collect your luggage downstairs. As you exit the airport terminal, you will be welcomed by one of our representatives carrying your name on our company’s’ signboard, Annapurna Foothills Treks & Expedition. Moving forward, you’ll be taken to your hotel in our vehicle. Once you reach at hotel, you’ll be welcomed by them as well and after that you can relax in your room or go for a walk exploring the city.

  • Welcome Dinner
  • Hotel

Today, we will start early to drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar. The road leads us West following the Trisuli River, then branches off the Pokhara highway, going North alongside the Marshyangdi River. Normally, we arrive in Besisahar by late afternoon. After lunch, we drive to Dharapani 4-5 hrs  will follow the Marshyangdi Valley. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

After crossing the river and following the trail over a hill, we'll enter to the village of Dharapani. From Dharapani, the trail passes a school and climbs over a hill before descending to Bagarchhap. You will immediately feel the Tibetan atmosphere of this special village. At the entrance, there is a monument called a Chorten, a monastery with prayer wheels around it and buildings typical of the Buddhist culture. The path leaving Bagarchhap enters a narrow forested gorge; looking back we have a magnificent view of Manaslu from Timang.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

The trail continues through quaint villages: Timang, Charku and Thangla. As we continue on to Burdhan, the view of the Annapurna range grows increasingly spectacular; in particular Annapurna II. Chame is the administrative headquarters of the Manang district. As we follow the East bank of the Marshyangdi through forest and orchards to Brathang, Annapurna II iwill be looming to the South of us and Pisang Peak to the Northeast. The valley opens out with the dramatic Paugu Danda rock face rising more than 5,000 feet from the river. The trail continues to Pisang where flat roofed houses cling to the crumbling hillside.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

We are now in the dry and arid region of Manang called Nyesyang. This area falls in a rain shadow area of the Himalaya where it seldom rains in the summer months; though it snows in the winter and the snow remains on the ground for a long time. The local people are mostly farmers and traders. There are two routes leading out of Pisang towards the Manang Valley. We take the one which follows the left bank of the valley floor. Today we will enjoy magnificent views of Annapurna III, IV, Gangapurna and the Tilicho peaks. At Hungde, we cross the river and walk along a fairly broad trail through the buckwheat and potato fields to the village of Braga, famous for it's monastery which is more than 500 years old. Then after a slight climb we arrive at the village of Manang.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

This is an ideal place to stop and spend the day around Manang for many reasons. First, we want to acclimatize to the altitude and to conserve our energy to succeed in our endeavor. Second, this is the part of the trek where we are closest to the mountains. Most people climb the hill behind Manang to enjoy the magnificent views of the whole Annapurna range and the enormous icefall that crashes and rumbles down from Gangapurna. The sunset and sunrise over this natural amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful mountain views in this region.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

Past Manang the trail climbs steeply to the village of Tenki, which is the last permanent settlement, this side of the Thorung La Pass. The trail ascends for a short distance to Gunsang, a small settlement of tea houses, and an amazing viewpoint of the mountains. It finally levels out into the open pasture lands, from which the name Yak Kharka meaning Yak Pastures, is derived.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

We continue through pastures to a settlement called Chuli Letdar from where we get an excellent view of Chulu West. From here, the trail follows the bank of the Jarsang Khola, a tributary of the Marsyangdi, before branching off to climb the scree slopes high above the river, to Phedi.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

A long day as we leave Phedi very early morning for the climb to the pass. The first part of the ascent is very steep, but it eases somewhat as we approach the top. Although the altitude still makes the going tough., after numerous false summits, we reach Thorung La itself at 51416m/ 17769ft. Looking back, we get our last great view of the towering peaks of Annapurna, while below us is the 2500m deep chasm of the Kali Gandaki. In the distance, are the snow-capped peaks of Tibet. The long descent from Thorung La starts gently but becomes steep and winding until it finally reaches the grassy slopes for a gentle descent to Muktinath.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

After visiting the temples, we will start our final day of trekking. As we follow the main trail down the valley, we are surrounded by the ruggedness of a barren valley of wind-eroded rock, which is contrasted by the backdrop of snow-capped peaks. A final steep descent brings us to the Kali Gandaki Valley at Eklabatti, from where the trail finishes with a gentle walk to reach Jomsom. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Tea House/Lodge

The flights from Jomosom to Pokhara are usually in the early morning due to the high winds which blow up the Kali Gandaki Valley later in the day. The short flight to Pokhara takes us down the Kali Gandaki Valley with spectacular views of Niligiri and Dhaulagiri. You will have ample time to explore Pokhara for the rest of the day. You might want to hire a bike to cycle around to places of interest: Fewa Lake, Devi’s Falls, museum, Tibetan Refugee Camp, Gupteshwar Cave. 

  • Breakfast
  • Hotel

Early morning, we depart from Pokhara Tourist Bus Station to travel back to Kathmandu. If you are interested in continuing on to Chitwan Jungle Safari, River Rafting Adventure or any other tours you can start today.

Option: We have not included the airfare of Pokhara – Kathmandu (USD $120 Per Person). The exciting half hour flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu gives you the feeling of a mountain flight, high in the Himalaya where you can see the Langtang, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. If you chose to travel to Kathmandu by flight, we give free Airport Drop and Pick up. You need to book this flight before start the trek. 

  • Breakfast
  • Hotel

We will accompany you to the International Airport in time to board your flight. Check in at the Kathmandu international airport 3 hours prior to your flight time.

  • Breakfast

What's Included

  • Transfer from Airport – Hotel – Airport: Car, Van, Hi-ace or Coaster in a private vehicle.
  • Authentic Nepali welcome dinner with Live Nepalese Cultural Program.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu, 2 nights on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
  • Accommodation in Pokhara, 1 night on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
  • Accommodation during Trek ; Local Lodges 9 Nights (With twin-share rooms ,beds with comfortable foam mattress and pillows)
  • All standard meals(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trekking
  • English speaking experienced Sherpa guide (Govt. Trained/License Holder).
  • One Sherpa guide-assistant if group size is more than 4 Trekkers.
  • Porters: One porter for 2 Trekkers basis. (Max 25 KG per porter)
  • Trek Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation.
  • Personal insurance for Nepalese staff.
  • Annapurna Foothill’s Duffle bag for Trekking.
  • Annapurna Foothill’s T-shirt.
  • Energy Supplies (Snickers, Mars, Bounty) and Fresh Fruits on the Trek
  • First aid medicine kit.
  • Annapurna Conservation Fee, TIMS permits & all required permits or Official Documentation.
  • Airfare Jomsom – Pokhara guests and guide
  • All ground transfers Kathmandu –Pokhara
  • Ground Transfers Kathmandu - Besi Shar by Private Vehicles ( Car, Van and Coaster )
  • All government and local taxes.

What’s Excluded

  • Your Personal Travel Insurance.
  • Nepal Entry Visa Fee.
  • Lunch & Dinner in cities - allow $ 10 to 14 for per meal in Tourist restaurants.
  • Beverages (drinks, mineral water, boiled water and beer).
  • Tips for guide, porters and driver (customary).
  • Additional night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early return from Trek (due to any reason) than the planned itinerary.

Useful Info

The Best Time to do the Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking:

The best seasons for trekking in the Annapurna region are spring (February to late April) and autumn (late September to late November). Winter trekking is also possible for Ghorepani, Poonhill, Ghandruk, Annapurna Base Camp, and Kali Gandki. However, it is not the best time for the Annapurna circuit as the Thorung La pass may have too much snow.

Tea Houses on Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking:
Village tea house lodges have plenty of character and good food. The simple rooms usually have two narrow beds. When you stay in the tea houses you will have close contact with the Nepalese people and are directly contributing to the local economy.

Safe Drinking Water on Annapurna Circuit Trekking:
We suggest that you drink boiled water or bring chlorine tablets to purify the normal water available in the guest houses along the way. There is a small fee charged for the boiled water. Several guesthouses have Euro-guard filters. Although mineral water is available in most places, there is no provision to dispose of the plastic bottles, so we encourage the guests to do what they can to protect the environment.

Washing and Toilet Facilities for Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking:

Most lodges offer hot showers, though sometimes a hot shower means a bucket of hot water. You can ask your trekking guide about the availability. For ecological reasons please try and limit your use of hot water unless the water is solar-heated. Please note that at higher altitude and in colder seasons there is very little chance to have enough hot water for all the trekkers. If the water is frozen then ask your guide to get warm bowl of water. Every lodge will have some kind of hand washing facility but it is good idea to carry a bar of soap with you. Toilets are usually Asian squat style and vary in how clean they are. Normally toilets are outside the lodge but now some lodges have attached or indoor toilets. The rubbish bin in the toilet is kept for your used toilet paper.

Re-charging Batteries of Electronic Items on the Trek:
You can recharge your digital camera, iPod, batteries etc. with electricity or solar power sources. You may need to buy an adaptor in Kathmandu before the trip since the plugs in Nepal might be different. The lodges charge a small fee per hour for recharging facilities.Nepal uses 220-240 volts to power your appliances. The sockets fit both round and flat plugs.

Spending Money per Day:

In Kathmandu we suggest you allocate US$ 10 - 15 per meal, although it depends on your spending habits. On the trek, all your meals are included, but you may wish to purchase extras which are not included in your package, such as chocolate bars, Coca Cola or a beer. US$10 - 15 a day should be enough, but keep in mind the cost of all items increases proportionately with the distance from the trail head.

Cultural Aspects:
The most prominent ethnic groups in the Annapurna region are the Gurungs, Thakali, and Manangba. The Gurungs are the most widely dispersed, being found from the hills of Gorkha district to as far West as Palpa. The Thakalis come from the upper Kali Gandaki Valley around Jomsom, where their traditional farming has been supplemented by trade, in particular the hotel and restaurant business.

Clothing and Equipment:

For the Annapurna Circuit Trekking, the following equipment is essential. This list is given as a guideline; you should make adjustments according to your needs, interests, duration of your trip, season of your trip, etc. You can find all of this gear to hire or buy in Kathmandu. The majority of the gear available in Kathmandu is cheaper, as it is locally manufactured. You can also find better quality gear imported from China, as well as some very high quality branded gear. {More detail }

Travel Insurance for Mini Annapurna Circuit Trekking:
It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expedition Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.

Safety:

When travelling in remote mountain regions, uncertainties such as weather, health problems and natural disasters require a certain amount of flexibility. While our goal is to follow the itinerary, that is not our first priority; your safety is always our first priority. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions request your cooperation to accept the decisions and advice of our trusted and experienced guides if they deem it necessary to change or cancel any part of the itinerary due to safety concerns.

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